In the small building that was marked with a large red cross Marvis Beldor, wanderer, gambler, and prolific liar, saw a gentle reminder of home. The building was old and dilapidated, the concrete pillars cracking and splitting at the seams. An exterior wall was entirely collapsed, allowing the bitter fingers and hands inside the structure attacking every weakness the place may have.
The building had writing on the walls, actually there was a lot of writing, years of graffiti layering over itself time and time again. Thus was the world, without order and without law. No one cared whether or not profanity was splattered in plain sight, and there was barely anyone around to see it as well. But a portion of the original text was still clear "Clinica de Emerge-", and apparently this was old news to Bindi, the garden girl.
"I think this is an old Emergency Clinic, back when you could get the help when you needed it." Marvis chuckled.
"Yeah, that's why we were coming here. Didn't you read the signs, silly." Bindi laughed back at him, over her shoulder. She was leading the way, alongside of Bradley. Bindi and Brad are the only people Marvis would call friends, they were mostly friends by proximity.
"Uh, I can't really read..." not the first lie Marvis told Bindi, definitely not the last.
Brad kept quiet during their banter and watched the new member of their group closely. They had found a man being brutalized by some random cueball-biker. And they stumbled in and intervened. It led to an agreement and a trade, this new fellow was helped to his feet and helped in getting his stuff back from some bandit. And for that Bindi, Brad, and Marvis would be taken down the safe roads into the city of Milwaukee.
'Clincica de Emerge-' Marvis read again, his mind slipped into a dull haze while the rest of them, the new guy included slipped into the building. Much like the pillagers searching for supplies his brain scavenged together loosely tied thoughts and memories. The sign reminded him of the woman who raised him. After his parents passed away he was left in a her care. She taught him how to read and write, mostly in Spanish but a lot of it was taught in crossover considering he spoke English fluently.
Warm and balmy summer winds brushed across his face, the young Marvis Beldor was laying nearly horizontal yet still braced against the large oak tree. At the edge of community, there was a wooded hillside area. It was once part of a a farmland. Overgrown and untended it just became large lush fields rolling across the horizon. Marvis would thumb through pages of magazines and read the ads and marvel at what people would buy. The magazines were hidden in a tin lunchbox, Marvis would usually keep it buried near his favorite oak tree.
Magazines were ritualistically burned up or tossed away, at least by the community that Marvis grew up in. Very rarely were they used to make trades with travellers for any goods that would help the communal effort of survival. Marvis's village was trying to base life off of normal and natural needs, and they didn't like to research or hear about the past. They thought that they could rebuild, and never have to face the same dangers as the past. Marvis came to the village as a boy and that was one of the only reasons he was accepted into their world. His abuela, the old lady who raised him, she was a-
"We're done!" Bindi hopped up and down with excitement after exiting the complex. She staggered over a large pile of rubble, concrete chunks broken up with vines grown over them.
Marvis checked over the few buildings in the area, this may have been some sort of strip-mall, from the world before. Fifteen minutes before the medical center they were in some suburbs that were sparsely populated.
"Your name was Randall, right?" Marvis asked, he remembered the name of this guy but he had to sell his foolishness.
"Yeah, I'm Randall." He was short with his responses, it always came off as either distant or distracted.
"What do you do Randall? Like in the city and stuff. How do you know your way around that place?" Marvis continued the conversation.
"I uh, I just do, ya know." Randall replied.
"You just inherently know the city? Were you born with the knowledge?" Jokes were far and few in this walk of life.
"I have a boat, I'm somewhat known as a Captain, in my area of the town." A sense of confidence came through in his voice.
"A boat?!" Both Bindi and Marvis exclaimed.